The National Care for the Elderly Programme

The National Care for the Elderly Programme is designed to improve care for elderly people with complex care needs. Many organisations have joined forces both regionally and nationally to ensure the success of this programme. The aim of the programme is a coherent care provision that is better suited to the individual needs of the elderly. For many older people this improvement in quality results in a greater degree of independence, greater retention of function, less reliance on care services and a reduced risk of care and treatments that are unnecessarily burdensome. The programme started in April 2008 and will run until 2016.

Why this programme?

Elderly people often suffer from several ailments at once, for example: forgetfulness, heart problems, mobility disorders and a reduced appetite. At the same time their vulnerability increases. Small incidents may have serious impact on their ability to cope. These elderly in particular, often don’t get the care they need. There is still too little cooperation between (health) organisations. For some aspects of care sufficient knowledge is lacking. And the knowledge that is available is often not disseminated and/or used to maximum effect.

Solutions offered by the programme

The National Care for the Elderly Programme seeks to improve the quality of care for the elderly by developing coherent care that is better suited to the individual needs of elderly people. This is how the programme aims to achieve its goal:

Regional networks

The strength of the programme lies within regional cooperation. The programme funds the realisation of regional networks. Everyone involved in (health)care for the elderly is welcome participate in these networks. For example, general practitioners, care and nursing homes, hospitals, home care services, health insurance companies, pharmacies and municipalities, but also the elderly themselves. Networks can apply for a grant to fund projects aimed to improve the quality of care.

Projects and experiments

A large part of the programme budget is being used to fund projects and experiments aimed to organise the care in a different manner. Regional networks can submit proposals for a projects as such. When doing so they are invited to think beyond the boundaries of existing legislation and types of funding. They can submit proposals for research on prevention possibilities, and/or improved diagnosis or treatment. The knowledge acquired will ultimately be disseminated and implemented nationally. That phase of the programme will also be funded.

Involvement of the elderly

The involvement of the elderly is crucial for the success of the programme. Their problems and wishes are key. They are both regionally and nationally involved in the discussions about new subjects and projects.

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